Aztec Timeline

Events

Aztecs start to build their capital city

1325

Aztecs start to build their capital city, Tenochtitlan.

Montezuma II and his people were filled with a sense of foreboding

1517 - 1519

Montezuma II and his people were filled with a sense of foreboding. A series of evil omens had foretold of calamities to come. A fiery comet crossed the sky. The temple of Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, burst into flames. The Lake of Mexico boiled and rose.

Cortes expedition enters Mexico

1519

Cortes is presented with gold and other gifts from Aztec officials.

March 30th, 1519

Cortes expedition makes a show of force to intimidate Teudile and his men

April 20th, 1519

Cortes expedition makes a show of force to intimidate Teudile and his men

Cortes' men decide to steal a ship and return to Cuba

May 1519

Some of Cortes' men decide to steal a ship and return to Cuba. Cortes has them executed and sinks the ships to make it impossible to turn back.

50,000 Tlaxcalans fight the 400 Spaniards

September 1, 1519

50,000 Tlaxcalans fight the 400 Spaniards and are defeated by the superior Spanish weapons and horses. The Tlaxcalans provide Cortes with 10,000 warriors for his march

Cortes continues on to Cholula and massacres the local nobility

October 1519

Cortes continues on to Cholula and massacres the local nobility, because he suspects them of planning an ambush.

The Spanish enter the city of Tenochtitlan (City of Dreams) to meet Montezuma II

November 1, 1519

The Spanish enter the city of Tenochtitlan (City of Dreams) to meet Montezuma II. Coincidentally, this day, 1 Wind, is Quetzalcoatl's day, attributed to the whirlwind, when robbers and wizards are supposed to do their worst, robbing and violating.

Cortes meets Malinche

November 8th, 1519

Hernán Cortés and La Malinche meet Moctezuma II

November 8, 1519

Hernán Cortés and La Malinche meet Moctezuma II in Tenochtitlan

The Aztecs attack the Spanish

May 1520

The Aztecs attack the Spanish and imprison many of Cortes' soldiers.

Montezuma is killed by the Spanish

June 1st, 1520

Battle of Tenochtitlan

May 26th 1521 - August 13th 1521

The Aztecs attacked the Spanish and forced them into a desperate escape from Tenochtitlan. More than 600 Spanish conquistadors (some estimates ran to over 1,000) and thousands of Tlaxcalans died trying to run across a narrow bridge. Cortés retreated back to Tlaxcala, barely making it through an enormous Aztec army. The elemental horror of that night has never been forgotten. It is still called "the Night of Tears" (la Noche Triste).

Cortes attacks Tenochtitlan

June 1, 1521

Cortes attacks Tenochtitlan from three directions at once with 13 new ships. The lake surrounding the city turns red with blood.

15,000 Aztecs die in Cortes' final all-out attack on the city.

August 1st, 1521

15,000 Aztecs die in Cortes' final all-out attack on the city. The new Emperor Cuauhtemoc and his last few supporters are captured by the Spaniards

Cortes dies

December 2, 1547